For the exhibition titled “Y”, Berlin-based artist, Sophie Reinhold, created a new body of work, which was inspired during a journey through Switzerland, from Zurich to Zuoz. In her typically humorous and satirical manner the artist responded to her surroundings, creating subversive narratives of historical, social and moral themes.
There are various ways of interpreting “Y”. The title might simply pose the question “why” and as such may evoke a sense of curiosity, a reflective-critical inquiry or perhaps, a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility. Alternatively, the letter may allude to the German word “Ypsilon”, the second to last letter of the Latin alphabet, or merely indicate a graphical element: a line, which splits into two directions, like a fork. Thus, the inquiry has no constraints, owing to the fact that Reinhold intentionally blurs the boundaries between meaning and interpretation.
Reinhold’s artistic practice is versatile and complex. Visual facts are fragmented and do not reveal their whole identity. Moreover, each painting displays a different notion of finish: some works indicate purely geometric compositions, and whilst other works show traces of the artistic process, a third group reveals motifs, both in and out of focus. Through her juxtaposition of these different work groups within the exhibition space, the element of humor evokes interconnection. As a result, by embracing an unresolved and open-ended style, Reinhold is highly receptive to the theoretical and speculative side of artistic creation. She plays with seemingly paradoxical ideas within and across various paintings, yet her practice does not reveal any sense of uncertainty, but rather an ever-strengthening poetic quality.
The paintings often indicate a sunken, relief-like structure. Reinhold first applies acrylic and stone powder, using a spatula, in order to carve out figurative formations, thus partially exposing the canvas. The resulting effect discloses the third dimension and therefore, these paintings highlight varying degrees of relief. Applying loose brushstrokes and an array of styles onto the polished surface, she combines perfectly worked out figurative scenes, abstract, geometric shapes, backgrounds wrapped in obfuscations, as well as, flush areas, fused with spatial allusions. Consequently, Reinhold melds oppositions, ensuing an artistic practice that heightens the feeling of total freedom.